Branding Indian Luxury: A Semiotic Deconstruction

CASE STUDY: FOREST ESSENTIALS (This essay was submitted as an assignment to the University of Warwick on 14 May, 2018.) With incipient beginnings as a seller of handmade soaps and candles crafted using the cold press Ayurvedic technique, Forest Essentials as a brand came into being in the year 2000, through an investment of a…

Fan Cultures: The Case of BBC’s ‘Sherlock’

This essay was submitted as an assignment to the University of Warwick on 29 Jan, 2018. Literature Review Studies in the field of media, especially those focussed towards consumer-behaviour, have for long attempted to analyse the behavioural patterns of fans and the fans’ creation and perpetuation of a paraculture. Media scholar Henry Jenkins acknowledges fan…

Hegemonic Shifts and New Media Events

This essay was submitted as an assignment to the University of Warwick on 18 Dec, 2017. Televised “conquests, contests and coronations” that “hang a halo over the television set and transform the viewing experience” (Dayan and Katz, 1992: 1) is how Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz defined media events back in 1992, referring to examples…

Italian Indulgences

Verona, Venice, Riva del Garda, Limone sul Garda, Florence, Cinque Terre, Chianti, Siena, Isola di Capri, Rome and Vatican City in thirteen days.

Dharamshala Diaries

There are some magical forces at work here, ceremoniously bringing together the snowy hills and the chilly air, the serenity outside and the effervescent thrill within, the larger than life nature and our tiny beating hearts.

Here Comes the Story of a Hurricane: Dylan and the Literary Revolution of 2016

The truth is that song lyrics, like accepted forms of literature through the ages, are (and have always been) reflective of society’s moods, fears, anxieties, hopes, flaws, and are inextricably linked to culture and social change. Lyrics are poetry, waiting to be read and analysed. When studied independently of the various guitar riffs and drumming patterns that accompany them, lyrics will find their way of tugging at your heartstrings, burrowing into your thoughts, and carving a space for themselves within you. So when the news of Dylan broke, I heaved a sigh of relief, for this marked a new literary revolution – a revolution which brought music and literature together and gave lyricists the same credibility as poets and authors. It was a revolution which, in one great leap, closed a major gap between high art and low-brow commercial art.

The Overlap of the Private and the Public in Gordimer’s ‘My Son’s Story’

Also published on the online literary journal O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! Nadine Gordimer’s novel My Son’s Story (1990), set in the decade prior to the beginning of the end of apartheid in South Africa, examines through a meta-fictional narrative, the way in which political ongoings invade and seep into the personal lives of families and individuals…

The Idea of Justice as it Emerges in Post-Colonial Thought

Also published on the online literary journal O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! “A valid and active sense of self may have been eroded by dislocation. […] Or it may have been destroyed by cultural denigration, the conscious and unconscious oppression of the indigenous personality and culture by a supposedly superior racial or cultural model.” – The Empire…

“One must imagine Sisyphus happy” – Albert Camus’ Embrace of the Absurd

Also published on the online literary journal O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!   “I rebel therefore I exist” The abovementioned quote by Albert Camus, from his book L’Homme Révolté (The Rebel; 1951)[1], is a modernist existential take on René Descartes’s philosophy of cogito ergo sum[2] – “I think therefore I exist” – which implies that it is…

Mythos of Creation in Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’

Also published on the online literary journal O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! Mary Shelley’s renowned work of gothic fiction Frankenstein (1818)[1] is the quintessence of the literature of terror which confronts contemporary society’s repressed fears and anxieties and projects them in the image of supernatural, nightmarish monsters. The creation of the Monster in Frankensteincan be analysed from…

Innocence and Experience as it emerges in Blake’s poetry

Also published on the online literary journal O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! “Without Contraries is no progression” – Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790)[1]  The above statement by poet William Blake captures the essence of his central philosophy – that of the acceptance and reconciliation of the binaries that exist in nature – which emerges…

The Blurring of the Lines Between Orientalism and Anglicanism

Also published on the online literary journal O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! “Therefore Orientalism is not a mere political subject matter or field that is reflected passively by cultures, scholarship, or institutions; nor is it a large and diffuse collection of texts about the Orient; nor is it representative and expressive of some nefarious “Western” imperialist plot…

Of thoughts that dissolved into sea foam

Grains of sand slipped and shuffled under my bare feet while my hands juggled the plastic fork pitched into a piece of chicken 65 and my tumbler of piping hot filter coffee. An unusual combination of course, but the flavours blended beautifully on my tongue as I tasted the spices of South India for the first…

A Compromised Free Will in John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’

Also published on the online literary journal O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! In 1667, John Milton published his volume of epic poetry titled Paradise Lost: A Poem in Ten Books wherein he, emulating the shepherd-prophet-poet role of Moses, proposes his arguments regarding the Genesis, the Original Sin and the subsequent Fall of Man. In doing so, Milton…

‘Gone With the Wind’ is not about the Civil War at all

Also published on the online literary journal O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN! Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind published in 1936 gives, through the lens of a southern woman, an interesting depiction of the Civil War and Reconstruction – events which had heretofore only been known primarily through the interpretation of Northerners, both sympathetic and hostile. However,…